OK, Newtie. I know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking, Of course. Of course you’re late writing my letter. I’m amazed you’re even writing one at all. How many years have you missed, hmmmm?
I could argue that I’m writing this Gotcha Day letter a little early! Looking back, you appeared at John’s Louisiana apartment end of September/early October 2012. He was still trying to find a home for you–or find your owners if you were lost–and had you spayed in November. It wasn’t until after that, when he saw how upset you were for your vet visit and spay, that he decided you were staying. I think after John came home for the holidays and worried about you with the pet sitters the entire time, it was official. So, I guess I could say… this is right on time? At least in the window…
Anyway, Newt, you are one special girl.
You are the first cat either John or I ever had, and we couldn’t have asked for a better cat to teach us the ropes.
Because you know exactly what you want, and you know exactly how to ask for it! I’ve had quite a number of nibbles over the years to whip me right into shape!
I’m joking, but only a little because you used to bite me a lot! I think a big part of that was because you had John all to yourself, then I suddenly appeared with three dogs in tow… and one of those dogs did NOT get along with you for a long, long while. And then there was the foster dog who wanted to chase you relentlessly. Then there was the foster kitten. Then there was Ripley. Yeah, we have asked a lot of you over the years, but you’ve risen to the occasion–and sometimes even more than we could imagine–time after time. I think the only instance where you just couldn’t was the move from Louisiana to Indiana. (To be fair, none of us could on that drive…)
You defy many cat stereotypes, Newt. You’re adaptable. You’re brave. You love going outside on a leash. You enjoy meeting new people (as long as they don’t touch you until you’re ready, at which point you saunter over and sit on their lap). When it comes to dogs, you know how to keep them in line. You’ve met so many in your lifetime, from our pups to fosters to cousin dogs to friend dogs, and you meet them all with the same resigned ferocity: Look, you. You do what I want, and I won’t swat you. Push my buttons, and I will swat you. And, so far, every dog has fallen in line!
We were meant to be your family, if only because we’re willing to bend over backwards to make sure you’re happy!
More than that, though, you brought and continue to bring levity and laughter. For such a serious gal, you have moments of pure, unrestrained joy, like when you wrestle with a hair tie or sprint laps around the house doing wall jumps and leaps. (At which point Violet yells, “HA CA!” (aka, HOT CAT!) which her Auntie Jeree and Uncle Sammy taught her!)
You “Mama Cat” Ripley and tolerate shenanigans from the toddler, though one of our few nonnegotiable rules is that she’s not allowed to touch you because the aforementioned nibbles. She follows it pretty darn well, but you’ve gotten really good about reading her moods, too. In fact, you read everyone–dog, human, cat–which is, I think, how you keep us all in line. You know what we’re going to do before we do it!
Every day, when you settle onto my lap for a little afternoon snooze, I think just how lucky we are to have your fuzzy, bunny-soft, sweet, and fiery little soul in our family.
Six years ago, you arrived. You picked John. You waltzed into our lives–literally–by marching yourself into his apartment. You know how to read people. You picked the right family. And we’re so, so grateful you do.
We love you, Newtie! We’re so grateful you’re you!
Looking back, holy moly. It was an epic battle to integrate cats and dogs but obviously so, so worth it. For anyone who’s thinking about introducing cats and dogs, I have a ton of posts I’ll link below in case it’s helpful. Now that we’ve done cat + cat introductions, too, I can share our experiences there. Or, if you have any questions, leave ’em in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer!
- Introducing Cats and Dogs: The Step-by-Step Plan
- I shared a progress update after that where 2/3 dogs were getting along with the cat, but the third dog…
- Five months later we were still trying to get the cat and dog to get along
- And then they did and were friends through Lucas’ final days. As I said, so very worth it!!
- THEN, we added a kitten who had the opposite issue: She was afraid of the dog! So, we tackled that: Training cats to get along with dogs
- Introducing a cat to a kitten: A Step-by-Step Plan
And now we have peace! 🙂
One final note, I had the opportunity to share my tips on bringing a new cat home for the 2019 Blogging Cats Weekly Planner, a blog planner put together by our friend Paula who runs the blog Sweet Purrfections. You can purchase a copy (we’re December!!) here.